Diagnosis of Spontaneous Splenic Rupture With Emergency Ultrasonography

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Abstract

Rapid evaluation of the hypotensive patient in the emergency department is essential. The availability of ultrasonography in the ED, performed by emergency physicians and surgeons, has made it easier to evaluate the hypotensive trauma patient. We describe a 44-year-old man transferred to our institution from a community hospital for evaluation of syncope and hypotension with no obvious cause. On arrival the patient began to complain of slight lower abdominal pain. The patient's physical examination revealed minimal abdominal tenderness. A rapid ultrasound examination performed at bedside revealed the presence of intraperitoneal fluid. Examination of the spleen suggested likely rupture. The patient was promptly taken to surgery for splenectomy and discharged home in 4 days.

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